There aren’t many stars left who can be said to have that old-school Hollywood glamour, but two of them unite for this nostalgic World War 2 drama.
Brad Pitt plays Canadian spy Max, who falls for a French agent (Marion Cotillard). The pair marry and move to London, raising a child and living a seemingly idyllic life. Max is then blindsided by an ultimatum from his employers, who tell him his wife is a double agent and he must kill her.
Clearly attempting to emulate 40s classics (the film even begins in Casablanca), director Robert Zemeckis just can’t pull off the slow-burning tension required to keep this tale ticking over. There are occasional moments of genuine menace, such as Pitt being interrogated or having to commit murder in the shadows, but for the most part Allied is little more than a cold reenactment of cinema’s past.
Eleven years ago, Pitt’s action comedy Mr & Mrs Smith gained more notoriety for the off-screen shenanigans than the content of the film. A similar media storm has been whipped up here, with speculation Brangelina’s tabloid-melting divorce stemmed from an affair between Pitt and Cotillard.
All parties have denied it, and if something extra-curricular did happen, it certainly doesn’t show: both actors look thoroughly bored with each other, with their lack of chemistry sucking out much of the peril from the film’s second half.
Pitt is the marginally weaker link, content to employ a middle-distance stare when more grit is needed, but neither bring enough passion to the table in a film that’s essentially about their love for one other. It’s hard to care what happenes to them when they don’t appear to care about each other.
Like an average cover version of a classic song, Zemeckis’ drama makes all the right noises for a 40s war-time thriller, but it doesn’t have any of the heart.